More than a community arts center, CCAC is a community-created arts center.

So this was the dream: An inspiring, uplifting place where people from all walks of life connect through the shared experience of art. By bringing people together, CCAC nurtures cohesion, trust and understanding – of both the value of individuals and the power of community.

Big dreams, no dollars

True story: The idea to re-imagine the historic Clifton School building as a cultural arts center originated in 2004, a wholly unanticipated outcome of the Cincinnati Public Schools’ $1 billon Master Plan to design schools as Community Learning Centers.

As CPS would be vacating the century-old building, the community was asked if it was interested in leasing it to create an arts center. Sure, what could go wrong, right? And with that, a small core of believers grew into a vast group of residents, volunteers, activists and community leaders – from Clifton, Uptown and across Cincinnati – who all came together to make it happen.

Dream until your dreams come true

Today, after countless volunteer hours – and millions in donations, support, investment and improvements – CCAC celebrates a decade of growth as a collaborative, inclusive, multi-venue arts center for children, families, adults and seniors, as well as established and emerging artists, educators and art programmers. A community-created place where …

  • People of all age, race, culture and socioeconomic status connect with one another through creation, interpretation and appreciation of art.
  • Children develop creativity, collaboration, critical thinking and other 21st century skills by engaging in the arts.
  • Artist entrepreneurs establish themselves as teachers; emerging artists develop their talent and build their profession; and small nonprofit arts organizations find a unique home among likeminded people.

The Clifton School

The Clifton School is itself a work of art, constructed in 1906 in the Beaux-Arts style with myriad architecturally significant and historic details, including original Rookwood water fountains, an ornate theater and its grand Great Hall. Indeed, its majestic clock tower, among the most recognizable features in Clifton, marks the geographic center of one of Cincinnati’s most treasured and historic communities.

What’s Next?

The Clifton Cultural Arts Center will be relocating from our current home at 3711 Clifton Avenue in late summer 2018. CCAC’s original home, the 53,000 sq. ft., 1906 Clifton Elementary School building, is slated to become a new CPS neighborhood school, serving children from Clifton, CUF and Spring Grove Village (also known as Clifton Area Neighborhood School, or CANS). CCAC board, staff and volunteers are currently in the search process for a new home to carry CCAC’s mission and vision into the future.

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